It was a bit of a slow news day on Wednesday after an action-packed opening week that included Dez Bryant’s foot surgery which created a seismic shift in the football landscape. Per Bryan Broaddus of Cowboys.com, Devin Street is slated to start in Dez Bryant’s spot across from Terrance Williams in 2-WR sets. (I personally threw up in my mouth a little bit upon reading the news).
Before I become nauseous again, let’s recap Wednesday’s news.
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C.J. Anderson (toe/ankle) is currently listed as questionable for Denver's Week 2 matchup against the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. He was limited in practice on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Anderson probably isn’t in danger of actually missing the game, but he’s definitely not in a plus matchup on the road against a solid Chiefs front-seven. He's a low-end RB1 this week.
Keeping the “C.J.” theme rolling… C.J. Spiller (knee) returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, which is a great sign for his expected availability against the Bucs. I’m hesitant to immediately throw Spiller into my season-long lineups -- but if his knee is right and healthy -- he has monster PPR upside in the Saints pass-heavy attack that loves to feature pass catching RBs.
In an un-surprising move, the Texans announced Ryan Mallett will start at quarterback on the road against the Panthers in Week 2. Per PFF, Brian Hoyer was under pressure on 12 of his 38 dropbacks against the Chiefs in Week 1. He completed just two of eight passes for 30 yards and an INT while under duress. Brian Hoyer is a mediocre backup quarterback at best. The only thing fantasy football-ers should care about is if whether or not Ryan Mallett can semi-consistently feed DeAndre Hopkins the rock. He’ll get his shot.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic said, “it would be a stretch” to expect Andre Ellington (knee) to play in Week 2 against the Bears. Initial reports stated Ellington has a Grade 1 PCL sprain, putting him on the shelf for 2-3 weeks. Ellington has never been a bastion of health by any means. I’d be very worried about his prospects for the rest of the season for season-long re-draft purposes. Chris Johnson will get the start in Week 2, but rookie David Johnson has more long-term upside. I’m interested to see how HC Bruce Arians splits their workload before I even consider the Cardinals RBs again in DFS.
ESPN Rams’ reporter Nick Wagoner said he does not expect Todd Gurley (knee) to play in St. Louis’ Week 2 matchup against the Redskins. This really isn’t a big surprise at all. Gurley could return in Week 3 against Pittsburgh, but I wouldn’t be at all shocked if we didn’t see him active for a few more weeks.
Continuing the Rams’ running back theme… Tre Mason (hamstring) said he’s ready to play in Week 2 and mentioned he was “pretty close (to playing)… but not 100%” in Week 1. Mason should be the lead dog in a sneaky-tough road matchup against a fairly solid Washington front-seven. St. Louis is favored in this game – but Washington is very beatable via the pass – so I’d temper expectations for Mason a bit in Week 2.
Delanie Walker said on Wednesday that he’s been dealing with a sprained ligament in his wrist and “being able to keep (the wrist) stable is the hardest part.” Walker is questionable for Week 2. If he does play, he’s a low-end TE1 option in a decent matchup with the Browns. Anthony Fasano would get the nod at TE if Walker can’t go.
Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times Union doesn’t believe Julius Thomas (hand surgery) will play “until Week 6 or 7” and HC Gus Bradley said on Wednesday that Thomas will be “checked on” in two weeks, referring to Week 4. I have a hard time making an argument in favor of holding Thomas for the next month in 10- and 12-team fantasy leagues. I'd rather use that roster spot to either stream between TEs or stash an upside WR.
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Deeper News and Notes
Free agent WR Terrelle Pryor will work out for the Jets and Seahawks next week. Pryor also worked out with the Patriots earlier this week. Pryor’s shot at becoming a starting commodity at wideout in the NFL is long, but I’d bet someone will take a shot on his athleticism in the near future.
Josh McCown (concussion) didn’t practice on Wednesday while he remains in the league’s concussion protocol. Johnny Manziel (elbow) was limited, but took all first-team reps and is preparing to start in Week 2 against the Titans. I’m not entirely sure this matters for fantasy purposes, but it is a bit of a bummer that not a single Browns’ WR will be useable in DFS this week as Cleveland is facing the burnable Titans’ secondary.
Lorenzo Taliaferro (knee) was back at Ravens practice in full on Wednesday after coming off of a multi-week MCL sprain. His Week 2 status isn’t certain at the moment, but there’s definitely a chance he regains his No. 2 RB job back. He was ahead of rookie Javorius Allen all preseason before he sprained his knee.